Cork man on the run to show support for his wife Frances

Wesley O’Shea and his wife Frances Kendellen will be among the crowds taking part in this year’s The Echo Women’s Mini Marathon.
Cork man on the run to show support for his wife Frances

Frances Kendellen with her husband Wesley O'Shea and their children Kate and James, at their home on the Lee Road.

A CORK man, who was left devastated after complications prevented him from gifting his wife a kidney, will join her in a touching show of support next week.

Wesley O’Shea and his wife Frances Kendellen will be among the crowds taking part in this year’s The Echo Women’s Mini Marathon.

His selected charity, the Irish Kidney Association, is close to his heart.

Frances, from Mount Dessert, suffers from a kidney disease known as IgA nephropathy-caused by the deposition of IgA in the kidney parenchyma.

She is awaiting a kidney transplant.

Wesley had been undergoing a series of hospital appointments after he was identified as a match for his wife.

However, their dream was shattered, when the transplant was no longer deemed an option due to the presence of a kidney stone in Wesley’s body.

A family affair 

Despite the difficult news, which came last month, both Wesley and Frances have maintained their inspiring attitudes and are determined to raise as much funds as possible for the Irish Kidney Association through the marathon on September 18.

More than 60 members of their family and friends, made up of cousins, Happy Feet running club and parents from St.Joseph’s National School, Mardyke have come together to offer support for Frances and those waiting for transplants.

The couple’s two children-Kate (14) and James (7) have also pledged to get on board.

 Frances Kendellen with her husband Wesley O'Shea. Picture: David Keane.
Frances Kendellen with her husband Wesley O'Shea. Picture: David Keane.

Frances is excited about the family affair.

“Kate will be running with us on the day.

“Our son James and his granny are setting up a stall along the route where participants can stop and pick up sweets, bottles of water as well as donor cards. They’re also going to have a banner supporting people along the way.”

Frances spoke of how her devoted husband continues to be her rock some 16 months into her time on the waiting list.

“When he comes to what I’m going through he has never been on the sidelines. I didn’t think the mini marathon should be any different,” Frances told The Echo.

Frances is hoping to share her story to relieve the loneliness of others in her situation.

“I had never really shared my story before and felt that this was the perfect time,” she said of the mini-marathon.

“I can remember being in the kidney clinic when I was in my thirties. Everyone was older than me which made me feel like I was the only one.

“After finding out about the Irish Kidney Association I realised how many people my age there are who are going through the same thing. I don’t want other people to feel lonely which is why I was so keen to share my story.”

Couple pay tribute to IKA 

The Cork woman credits her children for her strength.

“James has never known the mum that was there before. Now, all he knows is the mum who is always tired and needing to sleep. He’s always just assumed that I’m lazy but I just laugh.”

Every day is a battle for the entire family.

“The kidney disease has restricted me in a lot of ways, particularly in terms of my diet. I haven’t eaten a banana in four years and every potato I cook has to be double boiled to make sure we get rid of all the potassium.

“When you are going through something like it’s not just you. The whole family have been going through this with me and they have been incredible.

“My mum Mary and dad Christie have been incredible.

“When you are sick you always appreciate the times when you have that little bit of energy.

“They’ve always stepped in and minded the kids anytime we need a break.”

The couple also paid tribute to the Irish Kidney Association.

“The IKA supported us when my brother came from America to see if he was a match”, she said.

“Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for him either but the Irish Kidney Association were a great support to us throughout the process.”

Wesley praised his wife for her immense strength. “She is beautiful in every way and always willing to help others”, he said.

To find out about how to acquire an organ donation card visit https://ika.ie

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